ecotecture.GIF (12664 bytes)
Department of   Design and Environmental Analysis,
Cornell University
  1. External Considerations

  2. Core & Envelope

  3. Indoor Ecology

  4. Material/Product Content

  5. Ecotecture Worksheets

  6. Additional  information.

  7. Case Studies

Use the table of contents to go directly to specific topics:



Design Considerations:

Natural daylighting- Daylighting should be incorporated wherever possible as it will increase the quality of the indoor environment and reduce lighting loads.  People have a biological need to see natural daylight.  Diffused natural light utilized with pale reflecting materials and supporting systems will result in an optimal lighting design.

Artificial Lighting- Use T-8 tubular fluorescent lamps which are much more efficient, accurate, and pleasant in color.  Use sodium lamps to reduce the amount of energy consumption.  CFLs- compact fluorescent lamps- use one quarter as much electricity and last ten times longer than incandescents, are dimmable and available in many sizes, shapes and wattages.

Lamp disposal is hazardous waste- even in miniscule amounts, mercury can be highly toxic.

Dispose of lamps in EPA-approved MSW and the generator needs to keep records for at least three years of where the lamps were sent.

Utilize long-life fluorescent bulbs that are energy efficient

Photosensoring devices-   Photosensoring devices can be used to detect natural light levels, then trigger appropriate levels of supplemental artificial lighting.  

Smart lighting automatically adjusts to the desirable level of lighting that is desired.

Circuiting and Switching -Separate circuiting and switching should be provided for different tasks and zones.  Light controls should be easily accessible so that occupants can readily make lighting adjustments.

Occupancy Sensors -Utilize occupancy sensors throughout building to conserve energy when spaces are unoccupied for more than five minutes.

Interior windows -Incorporate interior windows into enclosed spaces in order to maximize the amount of daylighting

Interior paint colors and finish textures- Ceilings and walls should be painted with a high reflectance, non-toxic paint to maximize light quality

Consult the Green Lights Program implemented by the Environmental Protection Agency
Consult the product requirements as dictated by the EPACT legislation of 1992

Case Studies to Research:

Center for Energy and Environmental Education University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, IA.
Wells Woodburn O’Neil
-Body Shop U.S. Headquarters, Wake Forest, NC
Design Harmony Inc.
-National Audubon Society Headquarters, New York, NY
Croxton Collaborative Architects, NY
-Paulk Residence, Seabeck, WA.
James Cutler Architects
-Herman Miller- Miller SQA Facility
Zeeland, MI.
William McDonough + Partners
-Inland Revenue Center, Nottingham, England
Michael Hopkins and Partners, Architect

Further Information:

“High Dividends” Buchanan, Peter. Architecture.  Vol.84, no.7, July 1995, pp.76-83.
“Campus Energy” Barreneche, Raul A. Architecture.  Vol.84, no.7, July 1995, pp.98-103.
Moore, F.  Environmental Control Systems: Heating, Lighting, Cooling.  New York:  McGraw-Hill, Inc, 1993.
National Audubon Society Audubon House:  Building the Environmentally Responsible, Energy-Efficient Office.  New York, NY:  John Wiley and Sons, Inc. 1994
The Ecology of Architecture: A Complete Guide to Creating the Environmentally Conscious  Building by Laura Zeiher.
Green Lights Program, EPA
The Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings
Primer on Sustainable Building,  Rocky Mountain Institute




































Cornell University, December, 1998